03.23.16

Medium: The Diagnosis Is In On Obamacare

Health care is a deeply personal matter for individuals and families. While it happens to comprise one-sixth of our economy, Washington’s takeover of the entire health care system by the federal government is not working, and will not work in the future, since Obamacare was never the right solution.

Today marks the sixth-anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law, and it is not a happy anniversary.

In the fall of 2013, my wife and I received a letter notifying us that our health insurance had been cancelled. We previously chose a plan that met our needs as a family. We liked our plan, and we wanted to keep it. Yet the federal government decided it was not good enough and forced us to purchase a plan that doubled our premium.

Today marks the sixth-anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law, and it is not a happy anniversary. Whether it’s the broken promises or the higher costs, the diagnosis is in: Obamacare has failed to live up to its expectations.

When then-Senator Obama was running for President in 2008, he promised Americans his health care plan would lower premiums for most families by $2,500. On average, premiums have risen over $4,000 since he took office and are still rising. Over the last year, deductibles have ballooned ten percent for individuals and eleven percent for families. In my home state of Georgia, deductibles are rising seven times faster than wages, and recent reports project premium hikes of up to twenty-nine percent.

Whether it’s the broken promises or the higher costs, the diagnosis is in: Obamacare has failed to live up to its expectations.

Nationally, job creators who cannot afford to give workers government-approved health insurance are projected to pay $167 billion in tax penalties under Obamacare over the next decade. To grapple with rising costs, many are cutting back on full-time employees, dealing further damage to hard-working families already struggling to make ends meet. Those billions in added costs are just a tenth of the new total taxes imposed by Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates to be $1.2 trillion.

It has also fueled a dangerous, and growing, doctor shortage. The Association of American Medical Colleges has estimated a shortage of up to as many as 90,000 physicians by 2025. Eighty-one percent of doctors described themselves as over-extended or at capacity in a separate survey. Forty-four percent of those respondents said they plan to cut back their total number of patients, shift to a part-time practice, or retire altogether.

Overall, Obamacare amounts to broken promises and failed results. Americans are facing fewer options, higher premiums and deductibles, and millions have lost their coverage?—?all after promises to the contrary. None of this President’s feeble defenses, nor those of his allies, can cloak the real hurt this failed law has wrought on millions of American families.

We should empower patients, and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship by removing bureaucracy from the process.

Six years later, there is no cause for celebration. There is, however, opportunity to learn from the mistakes and resolve to find a better way. We can have a health care system that works for all Americans. We can improve accessibility, transportability, and insurability.

To do so, we have to scrap Obamacare and begin anew with a different perspective. Americans should be trusted to make their own decisions?—?in accordance with their needs, not government’s edicts?—?when it comes to health care.

We should empower patients, and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship by removing bureaucracy from the process.

Congressman Tom Price has promoted these solutions in the United States House of Representatives, and I’m proud to be fighting to advance them in the Senate.

As we turn the page on the Obama years, we know that our health care system must be better. It should work for individuals and families, not Washington bureaucrats, but Obamacare is standing in the way. Let us resolve to repeal the law that bears the President’s name, and to undo the failures by moving in a new direction.


By:  Senator David Perdue
Source: Medium